Dóchas Annual Conference 2013

Transparency in Action 

Thursday 2 May 2013, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle

The conference aimed to go beyond principles and theories of transparency. It explored some of the practical dimensions of becoming more transparent as development actors, the rationale for this and created space to look at the nuts and bolts of the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

  1. Transparency, Open Development and Development Effectiveness  -  the big picture
  2. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) – making aid better?
  3. Transparency Matters - Demand from the South
  4. How We Did It – practical advice from organisations that have embraced transparency and IATI

Click here to read the full Conference Report

Why?

Dóchas members have long lobbied for greater accountability and transparency in international development processes and systems. But just how transparent are we as development organisations? Counterparts in neighbouring countries are embracing aid transparency and open development in a practical way by publishing financial and other data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). Southern partners and civil society organisations are calling for donor governments and NGOs to be more transparent, not just in aid flows but in development processes in general, including the Beyond 2015 discussions. 

About The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)

Developing countries face huge challenges in accessing up-to-date information about aid – information that they need to plan and manage resources effectively. Similarly, citizens in developing countries and in donor countries lack the information they need to hold their governments to account. IATI aims to address this by making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.

IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid in order to increase its effectiveness in tackling poverty. IATI brings together donor and developing countries, civil society organisations and other experts in aid information who share the aspirations of the original IATI Accra Statement and are committed to working together to increase the transparency of aid.

Conference Programme

  • 10am: Opening Remarks - Jim Clarken, Dóchas Chairperson and CEO of Oxfam Ireland
  • 10:05am: Introduction from Conference Moderator - Nuala Haughey, Transparency International
  • 10:15am: Transparency, Open Development and Development Effectiveness - Rolf Kleef, Open for Change
  • 10:30am: Transparency Matters – Demand from the South - Video messages from partner organisations
  • 10:45am: The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) – Making the Case and Practical Steps - Rolf Kleef, Open for Change
  • 11:15am: Plenary discussion
  • 11:30am: How We Did It – stories and practical advice from organisations that have published to IATI
  • 12pm: Open Discussion – What Next?
  • 12:30pm: Closing Remarks and Conference Evaluation

The Contributors

  • Nuala Haughey - Advocacy and Research Manager, Transparency International: A former Irish Times correspondent, Nuala is a graduate of Dublin City University and Queen’s University Belfast. She has worked extensively in the field of human rights and democracy with the European Commission as well as international non-governmental organisations. www.transparency.ie
  • Rolf Kleef – Co-founder, Open for Change: Rolf has extensive experience helping NGOs and governments use internet for online collaboration, campaigning, policy-making and knowledge-sharing, and currently focuses on open data and IATI. He is one of the founders of Open for Change, the network for open development,  that works closely with Partos, the Dutch association of private international aid organisations, on supporting Dutch NGOs in understanding IATI www.openforchange.info

Useful Resources 

Huge boost for aid effectiveness as groundbreaking transparency initiative gains momentum

The Global Fund Should Take Transparency to Another Level  

Useful websites for Transparency and IATI

Visualization web resource

Transparency and IATI in the news/blogs

Other AGM Conference Themes 

In recent years, Dóchas has hosted AGM conferences on various topical themes:

  • 2014: "Protecting Public Trust - Preparing the NGO sector for changing times": focus was placed on the importance of regulation, transparency and accountability and on recent initiatives to help NGOs re-think their public engagement strategies in the face of evidence of shifting public attitudes.
  • 2012: Creatively Communicating Complex Ideas About Development. Attended by the Minister of State for Development and some 95 senior representatives from Irish Aid, NGOs and communications companies.
  • 2011: Guaranteed Irish”, targeted a more specific NGO audience, and examined changing roles of NGOs. The conference was attended by 75 sector leaders and academics.
  • 2010: New Voices in Development". This conference, attended by the Minister of State for Development and some 120 representatives from NGOs, corporates and academia, was aimed at many of the initiatives outside the Development NGO sector.